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Flax Seed Bread

This is a hearty, and heart smart, seeded bread. Picture of Flax Seed bread Because it contains flax seeds, it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help elevate your good cholesterol. The bread is very tasty - a family favorite toasted for breakfast - and a whole lot cheaper than salmon, one of the other good sources for omega-3 fatty acids.

This recipe is modified a little from a recipe in Dr. Ed Wood's second book, "Classic Sourdoughs : A Home Baker's Handbook". While I really liked his earlier book, "World Sourdoughs from Antiquity" better, this is a very good book, and I really like some of the recipes in it.

This recipe is for 4 two pound loaves. (I told you it was a favorite!)

Ingredients:
4 cups active sourdough starter
4 tbsp sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds (see note 2)
2 tbsp poppy seeds
9 - 10 cups white, unbleached flour
1 cup flax meal (see note 1)
2 1/2 cups cold water
1 tbsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey

Method:
Put the sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and poppy seeds in a hot, clean, dry skillet and stir them. Let them roast, with frequent stirrings, until they become fragrant. Be careful to make sure they don't scorch! Toasting the seeds makes them - and the bread - much more tasty. You may also roast the seeds in a 375F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Mix the active starter, water, oil and honey together. Add the seeds. Stir in the flax meal. Add the salt and then stir in the flour one cup at a time until the dough is too thick to stir.

Pour the dough onto a floured work surface and knead until the dough is resilient. The dough is a rather sticky dough, but it's important not to over-flour the dough.

Once the dough is well kneaded, turn it out into an oil ed bowl, turn and cover. Let it rise until doubled.

Deflate the dough, knead briefly, cut and shape into rough loaves. Let the dough sit, covered, for 30 minutes, then shape into final loaves. Let rise, covered, until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake 30 to 45 minutes.

Notes:

(1) The original recipe called for Flax flour. None was available here, so I used Flax meal, which is available. Check your local health food store and use what's available. Like any other whole grain meal or flour, Flax meal or flax flour can become rancid, so storing them in the refrigerator or freezer is suggested.

(2) Flax seeds are easily found in health food stores. The oils in them can become rancid, so either buy just what you need, or store the seeds in the refrigerator or freezer.